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A delicious easy recipe for Baked Ziti with Spinach, Mushrooms and ricotta. A one-pan meal with only 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking, with no pre-boiling the pasta! An easy, delicious weeknight dinner the whole family will love! Includes video.
Looking for more? Check out 50 Best Vegetarian Recipes and Our 40 Best Mushroom Recipes!
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.~ John Muir~
Here’s a simple, no-boil version, Baked Ziti with Spinach and Mushrooms that can be made in one pan and is gluten-free adaptable! It requires about 15 minutes of hands-on time before letting the oven do the rest of the work. Perfect for weeknights when time is short but you still want a hearty wholesome homemade meal.
Tucked inside are heaping handfuls of spinach for added nutrients!
Baked Ziti! | 60-second video
Ingredients in Baked Ziti
What I love about this recipe for Baked Ziti is how adaptable it is! Besides the pasta ( use ziti, penne, rigatoni) and Marinara sauce, feel free to add ground meat or Italian sausage, or keep it completely plant-based with seasonal veggies. Here we are using mushrooms and spinach but other veggies work too! Once you have the basic idea, the recipe can be adapted to your specific preferences.
You can even make this vegan using vegan tofu ricotta!
How to make Baked Ziti
It starts with sautéing shallots, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
Add a couple of heaping handfuls of greens. Here I’ve used spinach, but keep in mind, kale and chard work well too. Wilt.
Add the 8 ounces dry pasta. We are using ziti, but penne, or other pasta will work too. No need to preboil the pasta in the recipe!
Add chicken or veggie stock.
Add one 24-25 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce.
Of course, you can use homemade tomato sauce if so inclined. Or this quick marinara sauce, or even store-bought- not the one pictured here, but actually Trader Joes Organic Marinara – is surprisingly flavorful! I keep a couple of jars on hand for emergencies.
So basically, it will look like this. Top with dollops of ricotta. Or try our Tofu Ricotta!
On the left is our Vegan tofu ricotta I keep telling you about which is so easy to make, it literally takes 5 minutes. I use it in vegan lasagna and cannelloni as well.
It really has a similar texture as you can see below on the left. Because it’s made with tofu instead of cashews, it’s a much lower-calorie option.
Now at this point, I’ll add grated pecorino and mozzarella cheese mostly to Brian’s side.
The mozzarella gives it the melty stringy yumminess he loves.
Then into the oven, it goes to bake. So simple and easy!
How to Store, Reheat and Freeze Baked Ziti
- Ziti can be assembled ahead, then baked up to 48 hours later. Let it come to room temp before baking, and add 10-15 more minutes of baking time or until internal temp reaches 145F.
- Baked Ziti can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Reheat leftovers in a 350F oven or in a microwave.
- Freeze-baked ziti for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in 350F oven to 145F
What to serve with Baked Ziti
ON the homefront: Summer is officially over. I have to tell you… it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a summer with so much time to enjoy the outdoors. Since we decided to cut back on catering, we’ve had a luxurious amount of time to just be outside and bask in the sunshine.
It’s good for the soul. We’ve done a lot of hiking and exploring in our area and it never ceases to amaze me, how one can discover something new, on the same path taken a hundred times before. You just have to have new eyes.
It’s the same with people, and really who I’m talking about are spouses. Mine in particular. 😉 We are so dynamic. Change occurs in us every day. We don’t always notice this on the surface but pay attention, and you’ll see. Or perhaps we rather not see. There is safety and comfort in the one we depend on, staying the same. I get it.
But how fun is that? Life becomes more of an adventure when I let go and trust the changes that come.
And trust the path of the people we are connected with. Lately, I’ve been feeling very grateful for Brian, for being so incredibly different than me. I used to resist it. To fight against his timing, growth and perspective, and of course, I’m sure I will again. 😉
But today I see how he has helped me in a way, that nothing or no one else ever could, in his own unique way, without him even being remotely conscious of it. A gift from the universe.
Ok friends, I hope you enjoy this Mushroom Baked Ziti and please let me know how you adapt it below.
More recipes you may like:
- 40 Best Pasta Recipes!
- 50+ Easy Dinner Ideas
- Roasted Eggplant Lasagna with Arugula Pesto
- Butternut Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage
- Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sauce
- Broccoli Manicotti with Burrata
- Vegan Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Sunchokes
- Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Kale
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: main
- Method: Vegan Adaptable
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Baked Ziti with Spinach, Mushrooms and Ricotta – a simple, healthy one-pot meal with only 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. Vegan and GF adaptable!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (cremini, portobello, or sub ground meat or sausage)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- 3–4 ounces baby spinach, chopped ( about 2 great big handfuls) or use 1-2 cups frozen spinach
- 2 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 x 24-25 ounce jar marinara sauce– ( 2 3/4– 3 cups) Trader joe’s organic brand is really tasty -see notes
- 8 ounces dry ziti pasta or penne pasta, or similar (about 2 1/2-3 cups)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, or herbed tofu ricotta
- 1/4–1/2 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan (optional)
- 1/2– 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese ( or sub vegan cheese)
- garnish with fresh basil (or Italian parsley) and chili flakes.
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- In a large, 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic and mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper, Italian herbs, cooking and stirring until mushrooms release all their liquids and this cooks off, and eventually, they get golden brown, about 12 minutes. Taste and make sure these are salted and flavorful.
- Add fresh spinach and wilt, then add the broth or stock, the marinara sauce and the dry pasta. Stir, and bring to a simmer. Dot with the dollops of ricotta. Sprinkle with mozzarella and pecorino. Cover well and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and let the cheese get a little golden for a couple of minutes (feel free to broil). If there seems to be too much liquid left in the pan, simply bake uncovered a bit longer, or simmer uncovered on the stovetop for 1-2 minutes until it evaporates.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and chili flakes.
Feel free to add or substitute the mushrooms with browned Italian sausage or turkey sausage. You could also try adding soy sausage.
Make sure your marinara sauce actually tastes good. Not all are the same and you many need to adjust seasonings, and salt based on the marinara.
- Serving Size: using 1 cup whole milk ricotta and 1 cup total cheese ( mozzarella & parm)
- Calories: 365
- Sugar: 3.9 g
- Sodium: 419.4 mg
- Fat: 15.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 39.1 g
- Fiber: 5.2 g
- Protein: 19.9 g
- Cholesterol: 33.7 mg
Keywords: baked ziti, baked ziti recipe, baked ziti recipes, baked ziti vegetarian, baked ziti ricotta, baked ziti recipe, baked ziti recipe healthy, baked ziti ricotta, one pan dinner
Another winner! I always appreciate the brand suggestions; I’ve never tried the TJ marinara sauce before, but it was delicious. And the noodles had a perfect texture. Thanks for an amazing recipe!
Great to hear Nan! So happy this worked for you!
Super easy, super delicious!
Wow this recipe is amazing. My picky eaters LOVED this recipe. This is one is a keeper.
Great to hear!
I’m not a big pasta fan, but the spouse requested a break from all beans and grains all the time. And, I’m so happy I did since this baked ziti recipe is a wonderful addition to our repertoire! I used an extra large Dutch oven so had no issues with overflow. I served it over a lightly dressed bed of arugula and other hearty greens to bulk up my smaller portion and found it to be both scrumptious and very filling.
Thanks as always for your generosity in sharing these outstanding recipes!
Thanks Ingrid- glad you gave it a go!
This recipe is amazing! I make it for my brother and parents about once a week, and it never fails to be a hit. Very easy, quick, and delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!
Great to hear Kitty!
Oh my goodness!!!! I was hoping this would be as good as it is easy, and it is!!!!! I decided to make it exactly as written first . As others have said, mine was a little soupy and in fact, bubbled over onto the oven floor. It easily cooked down on top of the stove after removing it from the oven. Next time I will reduce the broth to 1.75 cups instead of two. It is easy to imagine all sorts of variations depending on what you have on hand. I am so grateful for this delicious recipe which is so easy and perfect for a small household. Very exciting!!!!!
Glad this worked for you Pam!
Just made this on a cold,wintery Sunday.
Just wonderful and easy to make.
Delicious! Thank you, Sylvia
Awesome Jan- thanks so much!
Had to make dinner quickly after work. This was easy and delicious! Gonna add it to my emergency work night dinners
Awesome Yolanda- glad you enjoyed!
Totally delicious. I chopped some of the mushrooms so my daughter could not tell they were in there. She mentioned olive garden had 5 cheese and so I added a little gouda and some champagne cheddar just to say it had 5 cheeses. Anything to get kids to eat veggies – right. Thanks for recipe
So happy you enjoyed this Kathy!
How much tomato sauce is in this recipe in cups or ml? I live in Canada and tomato sauce is measured in ml or litres. The flavour was very good but it was too wet and the pasta was too soft. I think I used too much tomato sauce. Great idea to cook in one skillet and limit the amount of clean up!
Oh shoot. I think a jar of marina sauce think is about 700 ml or roughly 3 cups.
Thank you! I should add I used chick pea lentil pasta and 4 cups marinara sauce, I will try 3 cups next time.
Thanks Sylvia for another tasty recipe & like your husband’s cheese request mine on board with vego meals when it packs flavour & he has his cheese quota not skimped. So many options to tweak but tonight made to recipe and family asking to put on rotation for our meat free Monday. Love it & like your other recipes I’ve tried didn’t disappoint. Thank you
Thanks so much Lea!
Oh, we had a feast last night. I so enjoy your recipes. The instructions are so clear, and now that I have made quite a few of your recipes I know it will be delicious. The flavors are always outstanding!
Thanks so much Kathy! Really appreciate this!
This was the first time I realised I could use my Scanpan in the oven! Another delicious recipe, thank you so much Sylvia 😋
Great to hear Leanda!
This was great, easy and flavorful. Quick, yes, but unless you have Olympic-calibre knife skills, prep time is way more than 15 minutes. My 12″ skillet would have overflowed in the oven, so be prepared to use a baking dish. Added a minced hot pepper to the mixture for extra kick.
Thanks Herta. 🙂
Thank you for your reflections about your husband, Sylvia. So true!
thanks Daria- appreciate this!
This was the first recipe I made from the blog. I made it for my family of 4 and it was super easy to make and super tasty. We ate the leftovers the next day for lunch.
When I made this recipe the 2nd time, I did not have mushrooms. I substituted the mushrooms with chopped asparagus that I had in the fridge. It was just as delicious!
Great to hear Clare! Love that you adapted based on what you had. Bravo!
Could a chickpea pasta be used in place of regular pasta? I think the cooking time for chickpea pasta is similar to regular…
Hi Mandy- I havent tried… but I think it should work? I guess my only hesitation is the amount of liquid. You can always try, adding a bit more liquid if needed, or if the liquid is too much, cook it off on the stovetop after baking.
Thanks for another great recipe! This was simple to make and tasted amazing. I added two chicken sausages. I will definitely make this for guests.
Great idea on the sausages! Love it Karen!
This was awesome!
I did made a couple alterations to make things even easier. 1 bag frozen mushrooms, frozen cut onions, and frozen chopped spinach. No chopping that way! So I had everything put together in 5 minutes. I used a separate pan as I didn’t have an oven safe one on hand and did have to increase the baking time 10 min.
All in all, even my 12 year said to put this on our regular list.
Love it Alisha! Great way to make this even faster!
Looks delicious! Can you cook in skillet and transfer to baking dish if you don’t have cast iron?
Yes Rachel that should work fine- it may take a little longer to bake though…
Love your blog Sylvia and reflections and insights. You and your blog are definitely one of my favorites. Perhaps one day I’ll meet you at but until then really love your stuff and style! You would have been a really cool big sister!
Awww, thanks Kristine. 😉
this looks great. what kind of pan or pans did you use? i am just starting to learn more about pots and pans.
I used an oven-proof stainless steel skillet. A braiser would work here too.
I have never absolutely made a single one of your recipes that wasn’t delicious and a hit with my husband! I’m adding this one to try next. I do appreciate it when you add the nutritional information, since we are trying to watch calories, protein and carbs. This will be a delicious splurge.
oops- that “absolutely” was supposed to be “absolutely delicious”
Thanks Janet- let us know how it turns out. 🙂
Looks like a delicious recipe! Planning on making it this week. One question – the ingredient list states 8 oz of dried pasta, yet the instructions state 22- 24 oz (nearly 3 cups) of dried pasta – I assume closer to the 8 oz, but thought I would check. Thank you for all!
Hi Joyce- 8 ounces or 2 1/2 -3 cups, yes. 😉
Hello, if I want to double the amount of pasta, what else should I increase? Double the broth? Extra marinara? Seasoning? Excited to try!
I would double everything Nora!